Good Questions: Sound-Dampening Paint?

Good Questions: Sound-Dampening Paint?

Apr 18, 2007


We just moved into a 6-unit Victorian that's only slightly less drafty and for the first time in our adult lives we can really hear our neighbors. We're considering something we discovered online - sound dampening/
deadening paint, with two goals in mind: 1. keep our neighbors from hearing us and 2. keep us from hearing our neighbors. We're mostly coping with footfalls and voices, not nuisance-level noise. Does anyone know anything about these products and whether they work? How do they work? Other than the obvious - carpets - do you have any other suggestions for dampening the sounds of our neighbors above us and adjacent to us?


Paige & Brent, Noe Valley

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Paige & Brent,

Not long ago we lived in an apartment beneath the absolute neighbor from hell. We wish it had been footfalls and voices! (Obviously we're not alone -- check out Good Questions: How Do You Quiet Your Neighbor on AT:NY.) Our apartment had other issues, so we were able to move after just two nightmarish months, but we really sympathize.

We're intrigued by the paint -- and we like that Acousti-Coat, at least, is advertised as being environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and fast-drying. But according to their FAQ, the paint was "developed as a relatively inexpensive, easy to apply solution for situations where echo within the room needs to be reduced and where sound in the Speech Range frequencies needs to be reduced through the coated surface." It also says that "it's not designed for EXTREME sound control nor will it help with sound transfer through, Wall penetrations, Door and window openings, Stomping and banging from the floor above or a blasting powerful stereo in your neighbors unit next door." We assume that the same is true for other acoustic paints. Whether or not it would offer enough sound control for your situation is the question. (It certainly wouldn't have helped in ours.)

AT:NY has quite a few posts on the subject of noise and neighbors and soundproofing. Here are some links to take a look at:

Good Questions: Interior Wall Alternatives
Good Questions: Ceiling Insulation
Good Questions: How Do I Dampen the Echo
How to: Soundproof Your Home
Extreme Soundproofing

Has anyone tried acoustic paint? Any other suggestions?


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